Being Still Before the Lord
Thoughts on Psalm 46:10 and being still before the Lord;
allowing Him to bring balance to our lives.
“Be Still, and Know That I Am God”
To be honest, I really struggled with this article. Topics come easily to me when I am writing for my own blog. But a guest post for another blog? Not so much. In fact, it was my sweet husband who gave me the topic for this post. Although, at the time, I think it may have also been a subtle reminder to me that I needed this article as much as my readers.
Why? Psalm 46:10 pretty much sums it up for me. “Be still, and know that I am God.”
The verse is a simple one. We’ve read it countless times. It makes for a beautiful thought on a greeting card or lovely as wall décor. But how often do we really apply it?
Applying Psalm 46:10 in Our Lives
In today’s world, there is an unbelievable amount of pressure put on women to be the perfect wife, mother, homemaker, career woman – you get the idea. In whatever season of life a woman finds herself, there is an unspoken, underlying current of pressure to be perfect. To be flawless; completely put together. To be strong, organized, and successfully wearing at least a half-dozen different hats.
And not all of those things are bad. As a Christian, I firmly believe that everything we do needs to be done to the glory of God. We should throw ourselves wholeheartedly into the roles and tasks He has given us.
But, at some point in our lives, all of us are going to struggle with perfectionism. We’ll struggle with bordering on being OCD (like me.) Sometimes we stress over details. We’ll be zealous and over-commit just a wee bit (okay, a lot.)
Can it get worse? Oh, yes!
We’ll start to see our worth by how much we accomplish rather than in who we are in the eyes of God. We’ll measure our spirituality by how many meals we deliver to shut-ins, our success as mothers by how many activities our children are involved in, and our worth as wives by how spotless the house is and by how many meals are in the freezer.
And getting to know God gets lost in the chaos of serving Him.
Before any of you lift a finger of protest, let me put on the breaks for a second. I am a ministry wife. I am 100% behind serving as much as you are able in your church, witnessing on a regular basis and blessing people with volunteer service, making meals, etc. As a home-school graduate, I am 100% behind being actively involved in your child’s education and development – whether you homeschool or your child is in school. As a wife who absolutely loves homemaking, I am 100% behind being organized, having a clean house, and taking the duties you and your husband have worked out seriously.
That’s not the point.
It’s just that even good things can become a snare, a distraction, even a burden – if we let them. In our humanity, we can twist or over-prioritize good things to the point that we are missing the whole picture. Care for a few examples?
- As homemakers, some of us (like me) can be almost over-zealous on this subject. Homemaking is a beautiful, wonderful thing, a task given especially to us as women because we are so good at it! But, in our eagerness to create the perfect home, do we lose our focus by creating a rigid, Better-Homes-and-Gardens environment where no one is truly comfortable?
- As Christians, we are to have hearts for the lost. I personally love leading people to Christ. And ministry work is a truly beautiful, wonderful thing. But do we ever over-commit and feel that we to attend every single church activity – although it’s at the expense of our children’s need for rest? Do we ever sacrifice the comfort and well-being of our family to be at the next event, the next important thing? Do we ever get so busy serving God that we forget to truly worship Him?
- As wives and/or mothers, we have the responsibility to care for our families. I love preparing healthy freezer meals, studying herbology, cleaning (yes, I’m weird), and implementing patterns for a healthy lifestyle. But do we ever take those things too far? Do we start worshipping a healthy lifestyle more than our Jehovah-Rapha, the very One who heals us? Should we put clean sheets and a well-scrubbed bathroom higher on the priority list than the hubby who really, really wants to talk and snuggle? Do we become that woman who refuses to pull out a frozen pizza in a pinch because of how unhealthy it is?
You get the idea. I’m talking about balance here. We need to be careful not to let the good things become bad because of our attitude or how we approach them. I’m talking about remembering what is truly important in life.
What does all of that have to do with being still before the Lord?
I think it has everything to do with being still before the Lord.
You see, we are humans. We can only run on Super-Wife or Super-Mom fuel for too long before we come crashing back to earth and realize that we are just human. And, if you are anything like me, you have no idea how to balance out life.
Just the other day, while doing my usual how-am-I-doing-as-a-wife check-up with hubby, I told him that I can only hope I am doing a good job. I’ve never been this old before, you know. I’ve never been a wife for exactly this long before. Every single day is a new experience because, well, every day is a new experience for all of us. And every single day is a new experience for you too.
And that’s where it all comes down to being still before the Lord.
I’m called to full-time Christian service as a ministry wife, a homemaker, mentor, and published author. Trust me when I say I don’t know how to balance it all – on my own strength. None of us do. There isn’t a one among us who know how to perfectly balance all of our duties, our activities, our callings, our families, our careers, our interests, and our church and community services.
But God does.
And that is the beauty of being still before the Lord.
When we are truly still and remembering to put Him first in our lives, He has such a way of sorting out the details and helping us achieve the balance we long for. Placing our lives on the altar and allowing Him to guide us is the only way we can truly become well-prioritized and stabilize our many hats.
But what does “being still” really entail?
You Need to Spend Time With the Lord
I imagine everyone has their own set of answers. But I do have a few suggestions for both being still that I have found helpful.
- Daily quiet or devotional time with the Lord is a must. There really isn’t a question about this one. It’s a must. Everyone’s devotional time looks different and there is no one perfect way. It’s not so much about how you conduct your devotional time, but that you do actually prioritize it. (After all, if we can’t prioritize time with God, how is He going to show us the areas of our life we need to change?) If you like to do deep studies an hour a day, go for it. Maybe you read your Bible upside down while blow-drying your hair and a toddler is pulling your leg, go for it. If you have a prayer closet, enjoy it. Perhaps you are like me and your life is kind of one long, never-ending prayer, awesome. Just make sure you have time with God, your Bible, and whatever form of prayer your season of life allows.
- Turn time in the car into worship time! Always have your favorite CDs ready to go and be sure to sing-along as you drive.
- If at all possible, turn mundane task time into prayer time. Doing dishes? Folding clothes? You are a woman! You can multi-task! Often, the best prayer time is when our hands are busy.
- Sit down and breathe. Say a short prayer. Put on some worshipful music. Relax for a moment, whisper a few thanks to God, and simply be. Let Him do the talking. Just five minutes can revive you in the midst of a very busy day.
Learn to Prioritize
Just learning to be still and prioritize moments of time with God can work wonders in bringing balance in our lives. If we put Him first, He can guide us. While it’s true that we need to prioritize, we also need to listen to the Holy Spirit on a daily basis and allow Him to move us. And sometimes that means dropping something we thought was important and writing that note or making that call to the person He put on our heart.
How do we prioritize? Well, the Holy Spirit is more than capable of showing each individual what she needs to do. But I did want to share a few tips – tips to be considered in conjunction with being still before the Lord and allowing Him to lead.
- Do a reality check; really, truly look at your calendar and consider all you are doing. Ask God to show you what activities He wants you involved in. The Holy Spirit will guide you. He will show you if you need to cut back some outside activities or if you need to do more. God is fully capable of putting a strong burden on your heart for the ministry opportunities He wants you to serve in. He is fully capable of putting a hurting person on your heart.
- There’s good. And then there’s best. We could be doing a million and one good things and still miss out on the best things.
Sometimes You Just Have to Say “No”
- Do not always give an immediate yes to an activity or a ministry request. (I am working on this one.) Check with hubby, pray about it, sit back and give your emotion time to simmer down so you can make a logical decision about whether or not this good thing is what is
- Consider if you are neglecting the very first tasks God gave you. For example, the life God gave me currently consists of being married and being called to full-time ministry. If I can’t handle taking care of my husband and helping him with the ministry, then I really shouldn’t be adding more activities to my list.
- Remember there are seasons of life. Nothing stays the same. Things change. Maybe you were once the single girl who could participate in all one-thousand church activities and be 100% in the will of the Lord by doing so. Then you get married, have a baby or two, and can barely juggle the diapers, groceries, and being there for hubby. It’s okay to step back from outside activities. It won’t be that way permanently. You’re not less of a spiritual person. God has different seasons in your life for a reason. There’s going to be seasons of serving like crazy outside the home, seasons of staying home more, seasons of working, and seasons of doing a little bit of each. It’s all good as long as the Holy Spirit is pleased with you.
Be Still and Listen to His Voice
It’s a complicated world out there. We all have our own set of rules, lifestyles, expectations, friends, and circles. We’re all human and we’re all struggling to balance out our lives. It’s okay. That’s where grace comes in and the simple beauty of being still before the Lord. Of knowing that He is God. That He made us and takes pleasure us. That, if we listen to His still, small voice, we can have the beauty of His guidance in our everyday lives. That, as we are still before Him, we will really get to know Him and not just serve Him.
So why not go be still?
About the Author
Alicia A. Willis is a homeschool graduate and avid historian. From an early age, she has had the desire to write family-friendly, accurate books about the past. When not writing or doing endless historical research, she enjoys serving in the ministry, reading, and teaching music. She and her sweet hubby live in Chattanooga.
Books by Alicia Willis
|From the Dark to the Dawn: A Tale of Ancient Rome||In Search of Adventure: A Tale of Courage and Devotion||Grace Triumphant: A Tale of the Slave Trade||Rising to the Challenge: A Tale of Perseverance and Unconditional Love|